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Friday, July 18, 2008

Death Match: Pineapple vs Coconut

The theist's banana is
no match for the
atheist's pineapple.
Coconut or Pineapple: Which one is the theist's worst nightmare?

Note: This is not intended to be a serious post. It should be taken about as seriously as one should take Ray's attempt to prove God with a banana.

Adrian Hayter, from The Atheist Blogger, noted on my first installment of The Theist Test that a pineapple is the proper theist's nightmare, and not the coconut. I frequently devour pineapples and, I must say, they're quite easy to open. The coconut, though, about killed me when I first tried to open it, as I hadn't the slightest clue as to how. When I slammed it against the counter and it came back at me... I take that to be an attempt on my life.

To the point, I decided to do a proper match between the coconut and the pineapple. Since the argument Ray uses is that God designed the banana for us (hands, indicators, opening, etc) and illustrates it with just his hands, the rules of this death match will follow in the same non-numinous spirit:

1. No man-made tools may be used. A knife would certainly make the pineapple easier to open, as would a butcher's knife or machete for the coconut. Since God didn't design the knives or machete, using them would be giving him inappropriate help (cheating).
1a. God did design certain aids, such as rocks and my hands, so those may be used.
1b. The rock or any other God-designed tool may not be improved on. If God truly designed it, it should be perfect anyway.
2. The fruit must be in a condition where nearly all of its edible contents can be consumed using just the mouth and hands. In the pineapple's case this means removal of the skin (not necessarily the leaves) and in the coconut's case this means get it in small enough pieces that it can be consumed.

Following the death match, a tallying will be done covering how the fruits fair using Ray's ten criteria he applied to the banana. A conclusion will announce the winner. If the pineapple wins, I will make this blog my personal pineapple, then.

In this corner: a pineapple. In that corner: a coconut.

Which one will cause Ray to start shivering when he passes through the produce isle? Which one will give Kirk some praying pains? Which one will be... THE THEIST'S NIGHTMARE? Only one will remain standing.


I am unsure of what I will need, so I have gathered the following for outside:

1. A giant rock almost too heavy to lift. It will serve as some rock structure you might find near where you get the pineapple or coconut to beat it against.
2. Four stones of varying sizes, all able to comfortably fit in the hand (they must have been designed that way).
3. Two sticks. They may be needed to pry or dig some of the fruit out of the skin/shell.
4. Two bananas. If God has designed them to be truly the atheist's nightmare, they should serve as a fine tool to quickly dispel the theist's nightmare.
5. Two hands (conveniently attached to my body, which I found outside at the time).

First up, the coconut.

Plan A was to give it a whack with the mighty banana. But alas, it failed miserably. Perhaps the intelligently designed banana that I purchased was defective.

Luckily, I had a Plan B prepared. My strategy was to bang it against the rock (I forgot about the rock and accidentally used the patio where I am staying for the first blow). One mighty thrust downward and the coconut nearly split in two. With a twist of my mighty hands, I failed to finish the splitting process. A whack on my giant rock did the job, though.

The next step was to get the halves into even smaller pieces. The goal, remember, is to get them into sizes small enough to be able to eat the meat from the shells using just my teeth and fingers.

I laid the halves on the giant rock and took one of my hand-sized stones and thrust it upon the coconut, scattering it into many pieces.

It was going much quicker than I had anticipated. Continuing this process with a few dozen more whacks, I finally broke the pieces down small enough to where I could (hypothetically) easily eat the meat from the shell. And now, behold:

Next up to bat: the pineapple.

As you may have suspected, my Plan A was to give it a whack with the mighty banana. But alas, it, like the coconut's, failed miserably. Perhaps I was unlucky enough to get two defective intelligently designed bananas.

I just knew the banana would work, though, and I didn't have a Plan B. My college education kicked in, though, and I devised a plan wherein I would whack it against a giant rock. It put a good dent on one side of the pineapple and made it easy to dig the contents out. Before doing that, I decided to remove the tab.

As much as I had studied Ray's video on the banana, it seems I would have flunked any test on it because, try as I might, I could not seem to remove the top of the pineapple by pulling on its leafy tab.

Luckily, I came up with another strategy. I hammered the leafy top off with stone against the rock. After going around it once, I could then pull it off by its tab (with some effort). It seems my pineapple was also defective as it lacked the perforation that Ray noted about the intelligently designed banana.

After that, I dug the fruit out to the core from the dented portion of the pineapple. The other, undented side was too firm to have its fruit dug and ripped out. As such, it was another few whacks against the rock and it came up looking like shredded pineapple.

The skin wasn't removed from the final product. It was, however, in little pieces like the coconut making it easy to eat it off the skin. The core had remaining fruit around it which also could be eaten off of it. In the end, it looked like:


Scoring will be done on a 0-4 basis. 0 being not intelligently designed/unintelligently designed/defective; 4 being as intelligently designed as the mighty banana. I will first use Ray's ten criteria (discussing it for both fruits) and then a few of my own which I think are worthy, including how long it took me to open them.

1. Is shaped for human hand
Coconut: It is not at all shaped for the human hand. It has no ridges matching up with the hand. You can comfortably hold it, though. D-. (+1)
Pineapple: Holding it in the checkout line was extremely awkward, uncomfortable, and unpleasant. F. (+0)

2. Has non-slip surface
Coconut: It does indeed... A. (+4)
Pineapple: There's really no non-slip surface here. The spikes make you want to let it slip. It's not frictionless, though. D-. (+1)

3. Has outward indicators of inward content:
Coconut: It does turn brown when ripened, but no color indicator of being too late or if the coconut water is bitter. C-. (+2)
Pineapple: You can examine the leaves and the uniformity of the markings along the pineapple, but this is no clear outward indicator of inward content. F+. (+0)

4. Has a tab for removal of wrapper
Coconut: It's a sphere. F-. (+0)
Pineapple: It has a leafy tab, but it's hardly for removal of wrapper. F. (+0)

5. Is perforated on wrapper
Coconut: Nope. F-. (+0)
Pineapple: Nope. F-. (+0)

6. Bio-degradable wrapper
Coconut: Yes, but probably a lot longer than the banana's 2-10 days. C. (+2)
Pineapple: Yes, but probably longer than the banana's 2-10 days. B. (+3)

7. Is shaped for human mouth
Coconut: Not for mine. F. (+0)
Pineapple: Epic failure. F-. (+0)

8. Has a point at top for ease of entry
Coconut: "top"? F-. (+0)
Pineapple: Nope. F-. (+0)

9. Is pleasing to taste buds
Coconut: It is pleasing... but as much as a banana? B+. (+3)
Pineapple: I was in tears once I finished mutilating it as I could not eat it. A+. (+4)

10. Is curved towards the face to make eating process easy
Coconut: It's curved towards the face alright (and everywhere else). F-. (+0)
Pineapple: Nope. F-. (+0)

11. Is easy to harvest from the plant
Coconut: It's in a tall palm tree. It falls several months after ripening, striking you on the head, and the water being bitter.? F. (+0)
Pineapple: Telling when it's ready is a bit difficult and it's spikey making it difficult to hold on to. C-. (+2)

12. Is easy to open with just your body
Coconut: Impossible. Epic failure. G-. (+0)
Pineapple: I suppose you could smash it with your fist, but it's far from easy. D-. (+1)

13. Is easy to open using stuff found in nature (like rocks)
Coconut: Took me five minutes to get it opened/broken enough to eat. It wasn't easy. F-. (+0)
Pineapple: Took me four minutes to get it opened and expose all the fruit content to eat. It wasn't easy. D- (+1)

14. Once opened with nature items, it's easy/clean to eat.
Coconut: Not really. Getting the fruit away from the shell was difficult with the teeth. It is clean though. C. (+2)
Pineapple: Messy, messy, messy. F. (+0)

25% (+14)
21.4% (+12)


The pineapple and coconut are both, definitely, theist's nightmares. But which one is worse?

After tallying up the scores and seeing how close the two were, I had to decide how important the fact is that it is impossible to open a coconut with just your hands and feet (no rocks or anything). Certainly that factor is more important than it having a non-slip surface. If God were to design something for humans, he should at least have the foresight to have made it able to be opened by our hands, as he did with the banana.

This was subject to Ray's asinine criteria and, based on those alone, the pineapple gets a dismal 20%. So, if by that criteria alone, a banana is judged to be the atheist's nightmare, then we can say, based on these criteria, the pineapple is truly...


Adrian Hayter said...

Wow...I cannot believe you went to the trouble of doing that experiment!

Naturally I am pleased with the result since it supports my "thesis" :P

I'll have to post this on my blog...

The Ranting Student said...

Ha ha ha. Wonderful, thanks for that.

That was simply amazing. The Pineapple prevailed in the end. Ray probably skips them on his way to the bananas in the supermarket.

Milo said...

That deserves a standing ovation.

*thunderous applause from the audience*

genexs said...

Hysterical. I am in awe your geekitude. I have never seen such a complete waste of time so well explored in loving detail. I genuflect in your general direction.

Anonymous said...

You have too much time on your hands. Let's hope you use it to create more wonderful gems of freethought such as this. Welcome to my RSS reader.

virtualmethod said...

This is a great accomplishment! One other reason the pineapple and coconut should be considered the theists worst nightmares are that there has been very little breeding done to them over the years, so many of these traits are 'original'.

Anonymous said...

Very well done!

Anonymous said...

Well done sir, you win an internets!

At least now, with your wonderful empirically proven theist's nightmare we can stop killing each other over it..what do you mean "you weren't"?!

PS: One-time awareness link for blogspot users.

Anonymous said...

Grave mistake when you say that "god did not create the machete". Since god created man to his image and man created the machete, it is obvious that god created the machete by "interposita persona" thus making you believe that he did not create the machete.
The use of the machete to cut hands or to kill other people, however, is to the work of god, but the work of the devil.

Bing said...

That was awesome. Truly enjoyed it. I'll keep my eye on you.


Anonymous said...

"11. Is easy to harvest from the plant
Coconut: It's in a tall palm tree. It falls several months after ripening, striking you on the head, and the water being bitter.? F. (+0)
Pineapple: Telling when it's ready is a bit difficult and it's spikey making it difficult to hold on to. C-. (+2)"

Pineapples are among the easiest of all fruit to tell when they're ripe. Smell the skin. The deeper and richer the smell, the closer to ripeness.

Fun article. :D

Anonymous said...

I demand a retrial. This was completely unfair, since the coconut already had had its outer husk removed. See for example this post.

DisComforting Ignorance said...

@ most recent anonymous

I had thought about the husk on it. I tried multiple stores, but only one even had a coconut, and that was without a husk.

I don't think it would change the scoring, as it got a zero mark for ease of entrance and I think that would be the only thing that the husk would effect. The other criteria assumed the husk on the coconut.

Since you bring it up, though, if I find a coconut with a husk on it, I will conduct a rematch for verification, along with other issues brought up. I was on the coconut's side, anyway :-)

@ second to most recent anonymous
I consulted farming and other pineapple websites to help with scoring on this. The common theme I found was ripening was difficult as they take a while to ripen and once they are ripe, they can become over ripe after a day or two (this is prior to harvest).

Another point to the scoring to keep in mind is that it was relative to the banana and banana argument.

If you have some sources to a different effect, please post them here or email and I will certainly have a look.

@third most recent anonymous
I hope that was satire :-)

Thanks for the kind comments. It was a fun project to conduct (despite the battle wounds) and will plan more such projects.

RockLobster said...

I think you forgot something; the T-Rex's "carnivorous" teeth were actually used to eat coconuts. And since, before the Fall, humans and dinosaurs lived together peacefully it is likely that humans used the T-Rex as a sort of coconut opener. (grin)

Buffy said...

Very thorough analysis. I wonder if Ray realizes how much of a joke he's become.

Paul Brown said...

I can't believe how sloppilly you've conducted this experiment - the real theist's nightmare was right in front of your eyes and you didn't even spot it; try applying Ray's Retarded Criteria(TM) to the big rock:

1. Is shaped for human hand
Not only is it too big for the human hand, but you can barely lift it without giving yourself a hernia. F-. (0)

2. Has non-slip surface
OK, sort of, but if it gets even slightly wet then you can expect crushed toes. D. (1)

3. Has outward indicators of inward content:
Scores highly here - the inside of the rock is pretty much the same as the outside (we assume - getting in to find out is another matter, though). B. (3)

4. Has a tab for removal of wrapper
No tab and, in fact, no wrapper. F. (0)

5. Is perforated on wrapper
See above. F. (0)

6. Bio-degradable wrapper
Nope. Bury it in the ground for a few hundred years and when you dig it up it will still be a rock. F (0)

7. Is shaped for human mouth
Epic failure, even for Ray's giant mouth. F. (0)

8. Has a point at top for ease of entry
Ease? Ease? F-. (0)

9. Is pleasing to taste buds
Nope. Tastes like rock. F. (0)

10. Is curved towards the face to make eating process easy
Unless you have diamond teeth it's safe to say that the eating process won't be easy. F. (0)

11. Is easy to harvest from the plant
Well, it is on (or in) the ground, but it's pretty damned heavy. Again, easy isn't the word that I'd use. D. (1)

12. Is easy to open with just your body
You are kidding me, right?. U. (-1)

13. Is easy to open using stuff found in nature (like rocks)
Not unless you count pneumatic drills as 'found in nature'. F. (0)

14. Once opened with nature items, it's easy/clean to eat.
Since you can't, we don't really know for sure, but it's a good bet that it won't be easy to eat unless you have the aforementioned diamond teeth. F. (0)

Thus the big rock scores a spectacular 3 points and an easy winner, although now that I come to think about it, a crocodile might score even lower since attempting to 'open' it by natural means would actually be fatal. Maybe Ray and Kirk could try that one out for us...

Kelley R. said...

@ Paul

I realize this post is old, so commenting is probably pointless, but I just have to say, that last comment about the crocodile was probably the funniest thing that has ever been said in the history of the world. Well... Maybe not that funny. But it definitely got me yelled at by my roomie, so it's pretty spectacular.

Major LOLz.

@ DI

This entire post is too insanely cool for words.

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